All About SF Crime
Although not one of America’s most crime ridden cities, San Francisco has a larger than average amount of both property crime and violent crime.
Because of this higher than average rate of crime, and subsequent higher than average number of arrests, the city is in great need of bail bond services.
In the United States, the criminal justice system works as follows. Say you are arrested for a crime. You are booked, and held in either a jail or a police station holding cell. If the crime you committed was minor, most likely you will be given a written citation and released. By signing this citation, you promise to show up in court at a later date for your trial.
What is Bail?
For more serious crimes, the criminal justice system does not have as much faith you will show up to court, especially if the offense has a high chance of a prison sentence if you are found guilty. In order to ensure you will show up to court, the court will require you to “post bail”. Bail is a financial guarantee you will show up for your trial after you are released on your own recognizance. You put up a certain amount of money (the judge will set bail, taking into account the circumstances of the crime you have suspected of committing). After posting the bail, you will be released, with you giving the court a promise to appear at your scheduled proceedings. If you show up to court, you will be refunded the bail. If you fail to show up to court, the court will keep your bail funds, as well as put out an order for your arrest for skipping court.
What Are Bail Bonds?
As mentioned earlier, the judge will set bail based upon the circumstances of the case. He or she will take into account your physical/mental condition, your financial resources, your family ties, your criminal history, your history of alcohol and/or drug abuse, as well as your record (if any) of showing up to court proceedings. The seriousness of the crime will also be taken into account.
In most cases, bail in set in the thousands of dollars. Because of this high amount, which most people do not have the cash on hand to deposit, bail bond services come into play. A bail bond agent or bail bondsman, is a professional who will stake the money you need to post bail. For this service, you will pay them a non-refundable fee of around 10% of the bail amount. The bail bondsman now has the financial risk if you fail to show up to court. Because of this risk, the bail bond agent will assess your situation himself to determine if you will actually show up to court. Furthermore, if you fail to show up to court, the bail bondsman may personally (or hire a bounty hunter) to find you, and bring you to court in order to avoid losing the bail they posted on your behalf.
San Francisco Crime Statistics
According to the Crime Index, San Francisco is safer than only 3% of American cities. With over 52,000 crimes a year, there are 61.89 crimes per 1,000 residents in the city.
San Francisco Violent Crime
In the city of San Francisco, there are nearly 7,000 violent crimes a year. This is 8 violent crimes per 1000 residents. The national median of violent crime per 1000 resident is only 3.8. You are more than twice as likely to be the victim of violent crime in San Francisco. The robbery rate is nearly 4 times the national average. However, in some other violent crimes (Murder, Rape), the crime rate is at or just slightly above the national average.
San Francisco Property Crime
San Francisco has double the property crime rate than the rest of the country (53.89 property crimes per 1000 people vs. 26 per 1000 people at the national level). While burglary is just barely over the national rate, theft (40 per 1000) and motor vehicle theft (7 per 1000) are more than double and triple the national rate (18 thefts per 1000 people, 2 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000 people).